The announcement of the LVMH Ecommerce store was first told by Harriet Agnew and Jo Ellison in the Financial Times on the 8th March 2017. LVMH are about to launch their own on-line store and Ian Rogers who heads up the LVMH Digital Strategy has been tasked with the transition.
LVMH: Moet Hennessy, Louis Vuitton have a portfolio of 70 brands predominantly in the luxury sector; their last foray into creating an online store was called eLuxury and launched in 2000; in 2009 it became Nowness, the home of short film for art, culture and fashion.
The current marketplace for online luxury stores: 47% are multi-brand and 53% are mono-brand*; this tells us that ecommerce stores such as Farfetch, Net-A-Porter and Matches are losing ground to Burberry, Hermès and Coach.
If you know the luxury fashion industry you will also know that there are a high proportion of brands that do not allow their new product to be featured online. For example, if you take a visit to Jane Davidson in Edinburgh you will discover pieces from collections such as Dries Van Noten are not permitted to be sold online. They can only be bought by physically walking into the store, or finding “vintage, used or second-hand” versions on sites like Vestaire Collective.
This move by LVMH and Ian Rogers will be interesting to witness, not least to see how the collections will be presented and whether full collections will be offered.
Le Bon Marché in Paris is the oldest department store in the world, the current website: http://www.lebonmarche.com is said to be the spearhead for this online presentation by LVMH. Not only will they be selling their own collections, other competitor brands will be offered too.
Currently in the LVMH stable of brands each one is able to take their own digital strategy, for example Fendi and Marc Jacobs sell via Net-A-Porter and Louis Vuitton sell a limited selection via their own website. In my view this (late to the party) new approach by LVMH will be an exercise that allows a curated visual presentation. Sales will be a natural by-product of the way it is presented. Ian Rogers experience at Apple Music, CEO of Beats Music and a history of working in the online music industry will provide a valuable insight into driving sales in a struggling environment. However how will it translate into luxury ecommerce? Relaying exclusivity, brand promise and an air of complete luxury to an individual that no longer needs to fly to Paris but check out the latest Dior patent, calfskin, kitten heels from her phone on the way to the office whilst riding on the subway… Will there be similarities to Farfetch or will this be an all new experience?
If we are to look at the current approach on the LVMH social media channels, the storytelling is quite revealing; the strapline for LVMH: committed to excellence and creativity is consistently told in varying ways, no more so than on their Youtube channel.
I foresee one of the biggest product hurdles will be price matching their retailers. (66% of the current LVMH product is offered wholesale to existing multi-brand retailers). They will be going head-to-head with their own clients; this will undoubtedly put a strain on existing relationships.
Ian Rogers first listed job is “BeastieBoys.com” webmaster – Fight for the right to party, seems very appropriate for the opportunity he is now faced with.
By Colin Gilchrist, Director, SocialTailor.com
Image: c/o Le Bon Marché: http://www.lebonmarche.com
Vestair Collective: http://www.vestiairecollective.com/
LVMH Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GroupeLVMH
Ian Rogers: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iancrogers/